July 28, 2008
Perfect with crackers, or just a blanket and a comfy chair

Break out the cozy flannel, the fuzzy slippers and the deepest, roundest bowls and biggest spoons you’ve got. It’s the season that made “M’m!M’m!Good!” a national mantra.
Soups have universal appeal. Every culture has its specialty. They are nutritious, affordable and easy to make. It’s a sneaky way to get your kids to eat their veggies, and the healing qualities of soup are legendary – if not proven.
“Historically, soups have been the staple of inns and roadhouses where people arrive tired and hungry,” says Galena Lodge proprietor Don Shepler. “It’s easy to eat, warms you up and nourishes you.”






Nine years ago, long before Bellevue was considered a spot for foodies, Brian and Sue Ahern established the to-die-for Full Moon Steak House. They offer great salads and soups to tide you over until your steak is cooked to perfection. The Aherns provided us with this recipe to try at home.


Basil Aioli

This can also be made ahead and will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
4 ounces fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small shallot, peeled
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
12 ounces olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine everything but the oil and salt and pepper. Process until totally smooth. Add oil with the motor running in a slow steady stream until aioli becomes thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Polenta Croutons

These really should be started the day before, or the morning of, because the polenta needs to cool before it can be made into croutons.
1 cup of stone ground polenta
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Put water in a small soup pot with salt and bring to a rolling boil. Add polenta gradually in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to whisk until the polenta becomes thick. Trade the whisk in for a wooden spoon and continue to cook over low heat until the polenta comes away from the sides of the pan (about 30 minutes). Stir in the cheese and transfer mixture into a 9×9 glass pan that has been sprayed with nonstick pan spray. Cover with plastic wrap pressed firmly to the surface and refrigerate until cool.

Turn the pan upside down on a cutting board and give it a thump. It should fall right out. Cut the polenta into 1/2 inch cubes and toss in a bowl with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden around the edges.


2 cups yellow onions,
medium dice
1 cup carrots, peeled, medium dice
1 cup celery, medium dice
8 cloves peeled garlic
16 Roma tomatoes, ends trimmed off and cut in half
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
8 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste

• Toss all the vegetables and olive oil in a large bowl and sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of salt and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until all the veggies are nice and dark (not burned, but caramelized), stirring every so often.
• Add 2 cups of the stock to the pan while it is still in the oven and give it a couple of good stirs and scrapes; you want all the flavor and little bits off the bottom of the pan.
• Transfer the contents of the pan into a large soup/stock pot and add remaining ingredients. Bring to a medium simmer for about 20 minutes.
• Allow soup to cool and process in a food processor or blender using a slotted spoon or strainer to transfer the solids, then adding liquid gradually. Puree until very silky smooth.
• Ladle soup into serving bowls, float a nice tablespoon of basil aioli and a few polenta croutons.

Full Moon Steak House
118 S. Main St., Bellevue






Sue Martin of Zaney’s River Street Coffee House in Hailey provided Sun Valley Magazine with a short list of their fabulous soups, each exotic and tantalizing. She asked whether we might have a favorite. We admit, after hearing about biscuits and gravy, tomato basil and chilaquiles rojos we couldn’t decide. We took her advice and deferred the decision to Chef Ruben Sanchez who Martin said was “thrilled” to choose the following.


8 tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 corn tortillas
1 cup chicken broth
3 medium chicken breasts
Mozzarella cheese
3 1/4 cup olive or canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

• Roast garlic, jalapeno pepper and tomatoes on the grill (or boil) skin-on. Peel them and put them in a blender with salt and pepper.
• Toss the chicken breast in a bit of oil, salt and pepper. Grill until cooked and cut into cubes.
• In a medium pan, heat 1/4 cup oil and add tomato sauce. Cook for 3 minutes. Add sour cream, heavy cream and chicken broth. Cook for 7 minutes more or until thick.
• Heat three cups of oil. Cut corn tortillas like corn chips, into 1/8th pieces. Deep fry in the oil until brown. Remove and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
• Place chips on a soup plate and cover with tomato sauce. Place chicken on top and sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese. Garnish with sliced radishes and cilantro.

Zaney’s River Street Coffee House
208 N. River St., Hailey





Don Shepler and his wife Erin Zell moved from Hailey to Galena Lodge in May, when a snowmobile was required to pack them up to their cabin. The couple have a lease with the Blaine County Recreation District to run the Lodge, a traditionally homey facility used by travelers headed north of Ketchum on Highway 75 and Nordic skiers and snowshoers who utilize its surrounding trails. After 15 years in food service, Shepler believes soups are a crucial part of any winter menu and he shared one of his favorites with us.


4 cups cooked white beans such as cannellini or Great Northerns
3 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
2 yellow onions, diced
4 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups homemade or low-salt stock (vegetable or chicken)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 bay leaves
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4” chunks
3 cups chopped greens, kale or chard
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved Parmesan cheese to garnish

In a large stock pot, sauté the onions, celery and carrots in the olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté, stirring often for 2 to 3 more minutes. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper over the vegetables as they cook. Add the white wine and cook until it has almost dried up. Add the herbs, the cooked beans, the squash and the stock. Bring the soup up to a slow boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the squash is tender. Stir in the greens and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and serve with grilled bread.

*Using homemade chicken stock will make this soup a little richer.

Galena Lodge
Highway 75, 24 miles north of Ketchum


This article appears in the Winter 2007 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.